February 12th 2021 is Chinese New Year. It is the festival that celebrates the beginning of a new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar and is also referred to as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year. This blog post from Coinadrink Limited, the vending machine company, will take a look at some of the traditions of an event that is widely acknowledged worldwide.
We will then go onto explaining some of our own, personal ties to the Middle East that you may not know about. Specifically, a vending machine and water cooler company in Hong Kong, one that holds a respected place in Coinadrink’s history, starting in the mid 1970’s.
A little bit more about Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs. 2021 is the Year of the Ox. 2020 was the Year of the Rat.
Here in the UK and across most of the world, New Year celebrations run from New Years’ Eve on the 31st December to New Years’ Day on 1st January. The Chinese New Year is much longer, 16 days to be precise!
The Chinese New Year period in 2021 actually began on Thursday 11th February and will culminate with the Lantern Festival on February 26th. The Lantern Festival, also known as Yuan Xiao, celebrates society and family reunions, and is an event that goes back over 2000 years.
Chinese New Year relates to a variety of countries across the Middle East. These include Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, North Korea, Singapore, South Korea, and Vietnam. It also includes Hong Kong, which exists as a Special Administrative Region controlled by The People’s Republic of China.
But whilst Chinese New Year lasts 16 days, only the first 7 days (February 11th-17th 2021) are treated as a public holiday.
A breakdown of Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year is broken down into three smaller events, that all culminate to deliver this grand annual event.
February 4th – 11th
Known as Little Year, this is where preparations for the New Year begin.
February 12th – 22nd
Known as Spring Festival, this is the period of the official Chinese New Year.
February 23rd – 26th
Known as the Lantern Festival, preparations begin on the 23rd before the actual festival itself is held on the 26th February.
2021: The Year of the Ox.
The Ox is the second of all zodiac animals in the Chinese calendar.
According to one myth, the Jade Emperor said the order would be decided by the order in which they arrived at his party. The Ox was about to be the first to arrive, but Rat tricked Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox. Thus, Ox became the second animal.
In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive characteristics such as being hardworking and honest are attributed.
Recent years of the Ox head back to 1925. The most recent year of the Ox was 2009.
Traditions of Chinese New Year.
Chinese New Year is arguably the biggest event in the Chinese calendar and is so forth celebrated in a variety of ways, though it is largely tied to the value of friendships and family ties.
Here are some of the things that are done during this special event.
- Catch up with family and friends.
- Brighten up with some colour.
- Share the wealth with loved ones.
- Watch a traditional dance or fireworks show.
- Clear out last year’s clutter and splurge on new threads.
- Chow down on festive treats.
- Visit a LNY market.
- Pray at the temple.
The surprising connection between Coinadrink Limited, the vending machine company, and Hong Kong on Chinese New Year.
The intriguing story exists between Coinadrink Limited and a Hong Kong based vending machine and water cooler company called Jackel Porter.
The relationship between the two companies began when Jackel Porter opened their doors in 1974. Operating in Hong Kong, Jackel Porter began supplying an Aussie coffee machine named Café Bar and its ingredients and disposable cups. However, the company were unfortunately unable to source a lot of products that the majority of the world now takes for granted, such as plastic and paper disposable cups.
Meanwhile, it was in the summer of 1974 that our Managing Director Roger Williams placed an advert seeking a coffee vending machine partner, distributed across the globe. Incredibly, one of Jackel Porter’s three partners Dickie Sik For Ho (Dickie would go onto becoming the sole partner of the company and still runs the business today) spotted the advert in Hong Kong’s English newspaper and eagerly responded.
It quickly developed into professional arrangement that grew into a personal friendship equally as fast.
UK based Coinadrink supplied everything they needed, managing to source a durable plastic cup for the Hong Kong and Macau market Jackel Porter were so desperate for. We even provided instant tea, another product that simply wasn’t then accessible in that part of the world!
The early years were primarily about sourcing products, but the relationship developed in the early 1990’s. By this time, Coinadrink Limited had positioned itself as one of the leading coffee and vending machine suppliers in the country and we gladly shared our expertise with Dickie and Jackel Porter. The Hong Kong based company were able to open their own coffee and vending division with various coffee dispensers and it didn’t take long for them to enjoy rapid success.
Then, in 1991, Coinadrink Limited introduced our own water cooler division Aquatek, thanks in part to the specialist knowledge and expertise that Jackel Porter provided us with from their own successful water cooler division. So if you’re wondering how our water division came to be, a service that hydrates a huge number of businesses across the region to this day, never forget the much loved “JP” name!
This mutually beneficial relationship both firms held saw us regularly share information and best practice. But it is the friendship between Roger and Dickie in particular that makes all of this so heartwarming.
We are delighted to say that after reaching out to Dickie and his family in Hong Kong, we are able to bring you an another article that invites you into this close relationship from Dickie’s perspective. Whilst Dickie has sadly faced severe challenges with his eyesight that have left him almost blind, we are grateful for Dickie’s willingness to get involved with the help of his close family including daughter Karin.
We cannot wait to share this article with you shortly, as a way to mark the Chinese New Year.
So, there you have it. Coinadrink Limited may be a regional, West Midlands based, vending machine company…but our ties and connections know no end.
10-11, Maple Leaf Industrial Estate, Bloxwich Ln, Walsall WS2 8TF